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Couple to Receive Notre Dame Medal

Donna Kelly Rego and Anthony C. Rego are not only partners in marriage, they are partners in philanthropy and community service. Over the past several decades, the couple worked tirelessly to improve the lives of people in Greater Cleveland. They are inseparable in their private lives and their activism. It only makes sense the Regos are the first couple to receive the Notre Dame College Medal.

Mr. and Mrs. Rego will accept the award at Executive Caterers at Landerhaven on Saturday, June 12. The medal is awarded to an alumnus, friend of the College or civic leader in the Greater Cleveland community who exemplifies the values of Notre Dame College. The recipients must demonstrate personal, professional and global responsibility through their community service.

The Regos have done this time and again. Together, they have used their expertise in their respective fields – the healthcare and food industries – for various philanthropic efforts. Both have received numerous humanitarian awards for their work, including the Center for Health Affairs’ Meritorious Service Award, the Cleveland Foundation’s Homer C. Wadsworth Award, and the Westside Ecumenical Ministry’s Lamplighter Humanitarian Award.

Anthony C. Rego had an immense impact on the region through his work as the executive officer at Giant Eagle, Inc. Under Mr. Rego’s leadership, the grocery store chain has donated millions of dollars in educational equipment to local schools and millions of pounds of food to the Cleveland Foodbank.         

Mr. Rego has had a long career in the food industry. He was officer at Rego West, an executive committee member at Rini Rego Warehouse Co., and chairman and CEO at Riser Foods, before he held various positions at Giant Eagle. He currently serves as the vice chair of the board of trustees at the Cleveland Foodbank.  

His wife Donna Kelly is a consultant and organization specialist. She is also a former high school teacher and certified pastoral minister in the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland. For 21 years, she served as pastoral associate at St. Malachi Church.

Mrs. Rego is a tireless community leader who has demonstrated an enormous commitment to the healthcare system in Northeast Ohio. She is a member of the MetroHealth board of trustees and served as board chair from 1991 to 2007, overseeing the hiring of Chief Executive Terry R. White in 1994 as well as Chief Executive John Sideras in 2004. She has also served as chairperson of The Center for Health Affairs’ board of trustees.

However, Mrs. Rego’s contributions extend well beyond the healthcare community as she is a founding trustee of Malachi House and the West Side Catholic Center. She is also a former trustee of the Buckeye Health Center, Tabor Consultation Center, Sophia Center, St. Malachi Center, The Near West Theatre and the Center for Community Solutions.

Together, the Regos have made Greater Cleveland a better place. Their philanthropic work deserves deep admiration and qualifies them to become the third recipients of the Notre Dame College Medal.

The Notre Dame College Medal was first awarded in 2008 to civic leader Sam Miller who has devoted his life to philanthropic and community involvement on behalf of Greater Cleveland’s less fortunate and the twin causes of social justice and inter-faith understanding and dialogue.

The 2009 Notre Dame College Medal was presented to the Most Reverend Anthony M. Pilla, bishop emeritus of the Diocese of Cleveland. Bishop Pilla received the medal for his steadfast commitment to those in need and his role in building bridges of understanding among the diverse communities throughout the Diocese of Cleveland.

Notre Dame College is located at 4545 College Road in South Euclid. For further information contact Brian Johnston, chief communications officer, at 216.373.5252 or bjohnston@ndc.edu.